On 12 November 2019, China's Banking & Insurance Regulatory Commission ("CBIRC") published its newly-revised Health Insurance Regulations ("Revised Regulations"), which Revised Regulations come into effect 1 December 2019.
Key elements of the Revised Regulations are:
- The regulatory definition of ‘health insurance’ has been expanded to include unambiguously ‘accident’ as well - i.e ‘accident & health’.
- The regulatorily-mandated 'cooling-off' period for long-term health insurance policies has been extended from 10 days to 15 days.
- Any CBIRC-regulated insurer which is authorised to conduct, and actually conducts, any aspect of health insurance business must establish and operate a stand-alone health insurance division or department.
- A seller of health insurance products is not allowed to 'bundle' other non-health insurance products.
- The only genetic information and family history which a health insurer can request and collect in respect of an insured is information in respect of hereditarily genetic disease. Specifically, comprehensive genetic screening results in respect of an insured may be neither requested nor collected.
- The actual value of all bundled health services and products offered (including ostensibly for free) under the terms of a health insurance policy may not exceed 20% of the value of such policy's total premium. Where the actual value of health services and products offered under the terms of a health insurance policy exceeds 20% of such policy’s premium, then those services and products whose value exceeds 20% must be separately itemised, additionally (to premium) priced, and additionally charged under the terms of such policy.